Tennessee Titans add an impact pass rusher with their first pick
Due to Iowa’s history of giving “starts” to older players, Lukas Van Ness never technically started a game for Iowa.
It seems odd that a player with his immense physical ability would not be counted on from snap one of any game. Still, don’t hold the lack of starts against him considering that he still had 600+ snaps in 2022.
There is no doubt about Van Ness’ tools, though. He’s a workout monster who ran a 4.58 40 at the NFL combine and a 4.32 20-yard shuttle. For a guy who is 6’5″ and 270 pounds, that is great stuff. He also has good arm length at 34″ so so he should be able to keep would-be blockers away.
He has all the tools to be a successful starter in the NFL, and he is one of the few people that you can logically say will be more productive as a professional than he was in college.
His size and speed should work better at the next level where in college he played against some run-first teams. He still had 10.5 tackles for loss in 2022, and he had 7 sacks in 2021 and 6 more in 2022.
Going to the Tennessee Titans, where there is already a very good defensive line in place will help him thrive. He will need a bit of time to go from a non-starter in college to a down-heavy player in the NFL but his speed will only help his learning curve be a shorter one.